indonesia travel magazine

West Kalimantan, Sungai Kumai and Kumai Bay Nature Reserve

Sungai Kumai and Kumai Bay Nature Reserve

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Location:
2-ª30′-3-ª00’S, 111-ª38′- 111-ª52’E; Kabupaten West Kota Waringin, West Kalimantan.
Area:
3,900 ha of wetlands in Kumal Bay; 80 km of river.
Altitude:
Sea level to 500m.
Description of site:
The lower reaches of the Kumai River and its estuary in Kumai Bay, a shallow sea bay with extensive mangrove forests, Nypa swamps and some sandy beaches. Kuinai River is one of the smaller rivers in Kalimantan, with an average width of about 750m and average depth of lO-l5m along its lower reaches. At about 80 km from its mouth, the river ceases to be navigable. At this point, two smaller rivers flow together to form the Kumai. The small village of Kumai lies on the right bank. By the end of the wet west monsoon, the river is fresh and the salinity of the bay is greatly reduced. By the end of the dry season (east monsoon), the river becomes brackish up to 80 km inland.
Climatic conditions:
Humid tropical climate with an average annual rainfall of 2,562 mm. The wettest period is during the west monsoon in April and May; the dry period occurs during the east monsoon in September and October. The relative humidity ranges from 55% to 98%; the temperature, from 22-ªC to 33-ªC.
Principal vegetation:
Mangrove forest, Nypa fruticans swamp and riverine swamp forest.
Land tenure:
State owned; under the responsibility of Kota Waringin Local Government. –
Conservation measures taken:
None.
Conservation measures proposed:
Kumai Bay has been proposed as a Marine Conservation Area.
Land use:
Fishing by local people.
Disturbances and threats:
Cutting of mangroves and disturbance from boat traffic.
Economic and social values:
The mangrove swamps support a locally important fishery.
Fauna:
About 80 species of brackish-water fishes are known from Kumai Bay. Waterbirds include Phalacrocorax sp, Anhinga melanogaster, Egretta garzetta, E. alba, Ciconia episcopus, Leptoptilos javanicus, Pandion haliaetus and Haliaeetus leucogaster. The Dugong Dugong dugon and Irrawaddy Dolphin Orcaella brevirostris occur in the bay, and Sus scrofa and Pieropus sp in the surrounding forests. Reptiles include the Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus porosus, the sea-turtles Eretmochelys imbricata, Chelonia mydas, and the monitor lizard Varanus salvator.

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